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Us 49, Washington 34, America 23, Illinois 17, Mr. Costello 16, Mr. Rahall 12, Wisconsin 12, U.s. 11, United States 10, Madam 8, North Carolina 7, Mr. Mcdermott 7, Florida 7, New York 7, Cap 6, Montana 5, Mr. Mica 5, Virginia 5, Louisiana 5, George W. Bush 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    July 20, 2011
    1:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of adoption. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 239. the nays are 183. a majority voting in the affirmative, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 242. the nays are 178. a majority voting in the affirmative, the resolution is adopted, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the house will be in order. members, please remove your conversations from the floor. plose clear the well -- please clear the well and the aisles. the house will be in order. the majority side, please remove your conversations from the nor.
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-- floor. the house will be in order. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: mr. speaker, i ask fleak that -- unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 2018 and include extraneous material in the congressional record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> excuse me, mr. speaker. mr. petri: it was 2553. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2553, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and airway trust fund, to amend title 49, united states code, to extend the airport improvement program, and for other purposes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please remove your conversations from the floor. the gentleman from wisconsin seeks to call up h.r. 2553? mr. petri: yes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 357, the bill is considered as read. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. petri, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. costello, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. petri: and i would like to insert in the record an exchange of letters between the committee on transportation and infrastructure and the committee on ways and means. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. petri: and, mr. speaker, for the third consecutive congress we're working to pass
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a long-term re-authorization of the f.a.a.. this year both the house and senate passed their own re-authorizations but unfortunately negotiations with the senate have slowed and it's necessary tore us to pass another extension to enable the f.a.a. to continue to operate. this bill is a short-term extension of f.a.a. funding and programs through september 16 at current levels. this extension also includes important reforms to the essential air service program. these reforms could result in as much as $20 million in savings for the american taxpayer. the first reform provision was adopted unanimously by the senate and is included in its re-authorization bill and that provides that only airports that are 90 miles or more away from a large or medium hub airport will be eligible to participate in the essential
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air service. 90 miles away. people can obviously and most -- in most instances prefer to drive 90 miles rather than taking a connecting flight. it seems like a sensible thing. we hadn't thought of it when we passed our original legislation. the senate did and we are including their reform in this -- in effect, ceding to the senate. in the case of one airport under the current program which is within 90 miles we're paying a per passenger subsidy of $851 and the nearest hub, as i said, is 82 miles away. that's $10 per mile. so the second provision dealing with essential air service caps the subsidies for each passenger, federal subsidies in addition to the fares they pay at $1,000.
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during this economically difficult time, it's not possible to justify using taxpayer dollars to pay for a subsidy of $1,000 per passenger at an essential air service airport and subsidies can frequently exceed that amount. if there are any difficulties with that there is other language that would allow the executive brampling to waive this provision. the e.a. provisions included in the legislation is limited. it targets the most indefensible of the subsidies. if we can't do this what can we do after 23 or 24 extensions that have been holding the whole program and the efficiencies of the improvements in the air infrastructure of our country hostage? the house-passed bill actually phases out the essential air service program for all but alaska and hawaii, so we're not insisting on that at all. we're modifying that and going along with largely what the senate itself has been
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suggesting in this regard. so these provisions are a compromise and e.s.a. will continue to be discussed as we work to timize the bill. as congress tries to find a way to address long-term deficit issues, we can't put an end to these subsidies, we will not be able to rein in spending where hard decisions are necessary. while i continue to hold out hope that we will reach a compromise with the senate in the near future it's necessary to pass this short-term extension and provide needed e.s.a. reform. ultimately, we must get back to the negotiating table to work out a long-term f.a.a. bill. short-term extensions are not the way to run such an important agency. so i urge my colleagues to support the resolution and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. costello: mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to h.r. 2553, the airport and airway extension act of 2011. this is the 21st extension of the f.a.a. authority to fund airport improvement projects at current levels through september 16, 2011. regrettably, unlike all of the prior 20 extensions of the f.a.a. authority, this bill includes a policy rider eliminating essential air service eligibility for 13 airports in small and rural communities. the issue today is not whether we support the essential air service program or not. we should not be legislating on this extension. we should have a kleenex tension so that we can move it over to the senate and make certain -- we should have a clean extension so that we can move it over to the senate and make certain that it is passed before september 16. there have been no hearings on this bill. members with affected communities should be allowed to make their case to the house and offer amendments to the
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bill that would preserve service to their community. instead, this extension is inviting opposition and creating major problems because the senate has indicated it will not accept this extension. policy riders should be left out of the extension and taken up by the house and senate conferees if in fact we ever have conferees appointed here in the house. . in february the senate passed the f.a.a. air transportation modernization and safety improvement act by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 87-le. pass -- 87-8. passage of the senate bill was widely applauded and it was estimated that the bill would create at least 10,000 jobs. in contrast in april of this year the house passed an extremely controversial h.r. 658, by a vote of 223-196. the narrowest vote margin of house passage of a f.a.a.
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re-authorization bill in floorly three decades. the bill has been harshly criticized by labor and industry stakeholders because it would undermine aviation safety, slash f.a.a. funding, and destroy good paying airport construction jobs. since chairman mica interduesed the house f.a.a. authorization bill, we have been warned and we have warned actually that it contains a number of controversial poison pill provisions that seriously jeopardize the enactment of a long-term re-authorization act this year. the failure to enact a long-term f.a.a. re-authorization act is costing taxpayers millions of dollars and the nation tens of thousands of good paying jobs. short-term stopgap funding authorization have stymied airport construction, job creation, and the f.a.a.'s overall ability to efficiently administer its programs. further, multiple f.a.a. extension acts have created uncertainty among local airport officials regarding the total amount of federal funding
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available this year for airport construction. as a result state and local airport officials are advancing fewer projects, less new construction is moving forward, and fewer jobs are being created. last week the airport's council international of north america sent a letter stating that if congress did not extend the program through september 30, and i quote, safety and security projects will go unfunded and the much needed jobs associated with these projects will not materialize. end of quote. so i'm puzzled why the majority would disregard this warning. it is time that we move forward and that we get a clean extension so that we in fact can move to conversation and get a bill that is agreed upon that we can bring to the floor that can be signed by the president. for the majority of the house who claims to care about creating jobs, reducing bureaucracy, and listening to the business community, this
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extension bill goes out of its way to create unnecessary red tape and problems. the f.a.a. needs the certainty, stability, and direction that a long-term re-authorization act provides. further the american people and the american public deserves a long-term f.a.a. re-authorization act that will create jobs, improve safety, and modernize our infrastructure. we need to stop playing partisan games, quit posturing, pass a clean extension through september 16, appoint conferees, and in fact reach an agreement on a long-term f.a.a. re-authorization bill. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i yield such time as he may consume to the distinguished chairman of the full transportation and infrastructure committee, john mica from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. mica: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i thank our chairman of the aviation subcommittee, mr. petri, for his leadership.
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also mr. costello, formerly chaired the committee and now is the ranking member. i want to thank him for his dedication to our nation's aviation system, safety, and also mr. rahall. you couldn't ask for a parter partner. mr. rahall is the democrat leader of the committee and we have a great working relationship. we have had a great working relationship to try to move forward legislation like a long-term re-authorization of f.a.a. and other major transportation legislation that's been mired in delay and quite frankly my colleagues, i find myself very frustrated being here. now, this is the 21st extension. i complimented, don't let me not compliment the staff on both
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sides. we have great professionals that deal with this. the congress is fortunate, the nation's blessed to have the kind of leadership we have with staff working on these important issues. to move what accounts to about 8% or 9% of our g.d.p., that's the aviation industry forward, setting the policy, the programs, the funding formula, all those things these folks are responsible for and they are good stewards of that responsibility. so i thank them. i also want to thank senator rockefeller, mr. speaker, and others who have worked with us trying to bring this to a conclusion. kay bailey hutchison the ranking republican on the senate side worked in good faith to try to get this -- again this unexcusable delay in passing long-term re-authorization. that being said, again i find myself so frustrated.
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this is the 21st. we have a former chairman of the subcommittee, mr. costello, mr. petri, now chairs it. he's been active on this. i was chairman for six years of the subcommittee. all wanting to do the same thing and that's move forward with authorization. the irony of this is i chaired the subcommittee on aviation in 2003 when we wrote the last re-authorization and we did that in some six months, and there were controversial provisions. that four-year bill expired in 2007. we have not passed a re-authorization, even when the other side had humongous numbers in this chamber, and control of the other body, at one point i think 60 votes to get something done. nothing was done. 17 extensions under their watch,
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and quite frankly i'm embarrassed this is the fourth extension. but i'm trying to do in six or seven months what couldn't be done in almost five years. we are going to get it done. we are going to get it done one way or the other. now, we have also done three what they call clean extensions to move this process forward. and we did need some time and you have to be reasonable because this is a new congress. the other body passed the senate in february. their bill. we passed the first day in april our legislation. here we find ourselves on the floor again extension -- fourth extension which is regrettable. all this i say to my colleagues could be resolved i think in the matter of an hour. there's been great work in discussions, informal discussions, and what we call preconference where some of the principles get together and discuss the term. all these issues are not new.
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mr. costello and i, mr. oberstar and i, we had discussed this. in fact i think the other body took up the pending legislation from last time. pending for 48 months. so there are no new issues here. but again we find ourselves stalled in the process. that being said, i call on the members to pass this extension. this is a clean extension. except for one change and it has two parts. the first part it deals with essential air service. that's the program that underwrites again routes for air service from local communities. this is a program that started at about $50 million a decade ago, and now is approaching $200
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million. we had a vote here in the house and we decided to sunset that program, i guess with the exception of two of our exceptional states, hawaii and alaska, who have some unique geographic limitations on service. but the other body passed a provision, the senate passed a provision that would eliminate service based on distance. i think it's 90 miles. and it affected some 10 communities. mr. speaker, i'd ask unanimous consent to insert in the record at this point where the 10 communities affected. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mica: so this is language that the other body passed and we are including. now, i have made one exception and it affects three airports, three states.
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nevada, montana, and new mexico. and a provision i put in is that no state or no airport operation that has service where the subsidy exceeds $1,000 a ticket can receive that subsidy. i don't think that's unreasonable. when we are here, and we've got until from now until the beginning of august, to get our nation's finances together, i want to see folks come down here and vote to continue subsidies for more than 1,000. one of these subsidies, i won't state the state, but you can figure it out, is $3,719 per passenger. that's object seen when our country's on -- obscene when our country's on the verge of debt crises and disaster. so if i have to take the entire
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re-authorization and we continue -- this extends through the 16th of september. i'm putting everybody on notice. that each time we will pass re-authorization, if we have to do an extension by extension. so we are starting with this small part of what the other body has passed. and i'm adding what i think is a reasonable provision. $1,000 subsidy in itself is almost obscene if you ask the average member of congress. in fact when i went to the rules committee one of the members on the other side of the aisle was stunned that we were paying those kinds of fees. don't come here and tell me that we don't legislate on extensions. in fact the other body put an entire bill, regional safety legislation, on one of the past 17 extensions. so we have done this before. we need to work together on
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this. i would implore members of both sides of the aisle to support this because this is in the people's interest. this has to move forward. i don't know of any other mechanism. i certainly am not going to allow this fiasco to continue. and certainly i don't want the f.a.a. to close down at midnight on friday night. and that won't happen, essential service also continue. air traffic controllers will be at their job. there may be some people furloughed but it is not my fault. it will be the responsibility of the other body who does not take this up and pass it. they will be furloughing people and putting people out of jobs. and if you want to see people work, then let's pass the f.a.a. bill. it has the next generation air traffic control provisions. it has safety provisions in here that are long overdue. sown again i'm a bit frustrated.
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i want the best for the nation and for our air traffic control system, our aviation system and people, thousands of people who depend not just working in the federal government but in this important industry to move forward. that's my say at this point i again am so disappointed. but we are going to find one way. i may not be the most powerful member. i may not be the most intelligent member. i may not be the highest ranking member. but i'll tell you what, i am a persistent member and we will pass re-authorization one way or another. we are going to get it done. i appreciate everyone's indulgence in working with me on this project. i yield my time back at this point. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: at this time i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the full committee,
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mr. rye hall. the speaker pro tempore: -- rahall. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. rahall: thank you, madam speaker. i commend our ranking member, mr. costello, chairman mica, subcommittee chairman petri, my senior senator, jay rockefeller in the other body and his ranking member, kay bailey hutchison, for the tremendous efforts they have put in this legislation and so much other legislation. important for our infrastructure in this country. i recognize those in the majority side that will their heart is in the right place, perhaps those whose pay grade is above them have different opinions and different agendas on this legislation and perhaps that's the reason why we need to appoint conferees as the other body has done and move forward and let the normal process work its will on this legislation. but instead we are here to consider the 21st short-term extension of the pay-per-view frams and authority. and the fourth short-term extension of this congress as our chairman just stated.
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21 extensions, it's now old enough to drink. instead of celebrating, however, this should give all cause for concern. this past saturday marked the 100th day since the senate appointed conferees on a long-term f.a.a. re-authorization. the sun has risen and set over the capitol more than 200 times since then, and house and senate negotiators have boiled down the remaining issues to just a few. . but the house republican leadership still has not appointed conferees to move this process forward despite the fact that as chairman mica has acknowledged to the press release last week and in his comments today, the remaining differences are so few that could be resolved by conferees in 20 minutes. so i ask, what is the republican leadership waiting for? we find ourselves now facinged with need for a 21st extension unlike the three other extensions this chamber has passed this year, this
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extension contains a policy rider that would cut 13 small and rural communities from the essential air service program. there has been no hearings to reduce e.a.s. and no hearings on this proposal in particular. that said i would note for the record that the provision of this extension dealing with e.a.s. is an improvement over the proposal in the house-passed re-authorization bill that would have cut -- would have cut the e.a.s. program altogether for the lower 48 states. there's no question that a sunset of the program would not pass the senate and be enacted. and at least my republican colleagues have stead back from the brink of that particular proposal. however, i am disappointed that instead of appointing conferees to address the future of the e.a.s. program and other outstanding issues in this long-term re-authorization, my republican colleagues have instead chosen to force a major policy decision -- provision into an otherwise clean f.a.a. extension bill at the last minute.
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holding hostage the negotiations is not the way to move the re-authorization process forward. in fact, it is almost guaranteed to set us back in our efforts to work with the other body and reach agreement on a long-term re-authorization. i object to the tactics used by my republican friends and colleagues, and i implore them to act in good faith, move toward enacting a long-term re-authorization bill that will put americans to work and improve the safety of our skies. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i yield such time as he may consume to mr. mica of florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mica: thank you so much for yielding back again. the question has been brought up to try to shift the responsibility for again the possibility of the other body not acting here to the question of the republicans not appointing conferees. i might point out just for the record in the 110th congress, this is for an entire two
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years, the senate never passed an f.a.a. re-authorization bill so we never got to preconference, we never got to the issue so they never appointed conferees. there was no bill passed. again, huge majorities in both sides, in the 111th congress, the house and senate re-authorizations and preconference for five months without naming conferees. they never named any conferees. this process of preconferencing is part of the bipartisan nature of our committee and our work in bicameral discussions. as i said, they've been excellent. the staff has been working well. these aren't new issues. the other side controlled the process for four years. the bills have been out there for sometime.
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i have the commitment from the leadership when we are ready to go and having resolved most of the issues and, again, there are only a couple, and everyone knows what they are, i think they can fall in place. but we need the leadership of the other body. in fact, the leader of the other body to step forward and act responsibly -- act in a responsible manner in dealing with me or the leader of the house or someone in responding to a major impediment to move this process forward. then we will -- our leadership has said they will appoint conferees. we can sit down, resolve those issues in a public forum and pass this. we could do that tomorrow. so, again, it's not the question of appointing conferees. and if i have to take more strident measures to get this
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job done, we are going to get the job done one way or the other, as i said. this is the beginning. i had a republican ask me to modify the language that the senate passed before the rules committee. a tape you can all see that's part of the record. i said, no, i don't want to do that. i want to take what the senate passed, the only difference here in the essential air service is what i provided language that says that if you get more than $1,000 subsidy, it affects three airports, that will not be allowed. that's the only thing standing between us and shutting down part of our federal aviation administration. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: i yield myself 10 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. costello: just to make a point to the chairman. one is the five-month period that he referred to. one, the republicans in the senate, as he knows, blocked our ability to appoint conferees. in particular, the senators from tennessee put a hold on it until they moved forward. with that, madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the former chairman of the aviation subcommittee, the distinguished gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman for yielding. this used to be a legislative body. i'm not quite sure what it is now. the way traditionally the house and the senate resolve differences is each the house and the sfat pass a bill, most -- senate pass a bill, most people learn this in their high school civic class, then each side appoint conferees and they hash through the differences. actually served on some of those conference committees. voted across the aisle on some
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provisions in bills in conference committees. what they're saying is after they worked out with the senate and the way the bill passed in the house which is my way or the highway, then they'll appoint conferees to a meaningless conference on something that's already agreed to and then we'll come back and pass their bill. it doesn't work that way. it won't work that way. and this is just not a simple problem because if this -- if the f.a.a. has to close down all of its capital improvement programs friday night, very expensive, 4,000 people laid off, thousands of projects across the country that would put construction workers to work and suppliers to work, won't happen. so this isn't a no cost playing games they're playing here. what's it about? it's about whether or not labor should have the right to organize. that is what hung up the bill
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in the senate before because they wanted a level playing field. we wanted to have a level playing field between providers of railroad and airline services and allow people to actually organize to be represented and, of course, federal express hated that and their two senators held up the last conference in the last congress. plain and simple. now, they're on the same wave length here. they, the republicans here, want to impose a rule for organizing that says you have to have a majority of people voting and a majority of the majority voting, i.e., if you apply the same rule that they want to the united states house of representatives, not one member of this house would have won their election. not even some people who are in like totally partisan districts, democrat or republican, no one would have
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won because no one got a majority of a majority of the vote. that's the rule they want to apply to labor. so if you want to organize a union, there's 100 people. first off, you got to get 50 positive votes. 51 positive votes. anybody who doesn't vote counts as a negative vote. so if we amy the same things, we would -- so if we apply the same things, we would not have federal elections in this country. they say, that would be fair for labor. that's what's hanging up this bill. they're anti-labor fervor. their right to organize. it's absolutely obscene they will do that and cost us more jobs by not having a capital improvement program. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i would just point out to my colleagues that the provision that was changed by the national labor board to which my colleague referred, it's been the law of this land for generations. so it's not anti-labor fervor at all. it's more regular order.
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and how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has 12 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from illinois has 19 1/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i yield such time as he may consume to the chairman of the full committee, mr. mica. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. mica: well, you just heard the comments. again, i couldn't have a better friend or compatriot on many issues and many improvements we made in transportation than mr. defazio, the gentleman from oregon. he said this used to be a legislative body. yes, it used to be a legislative body before the other side took over four years ago and they closed down quite a bit of the process. now, has this been an open process on the f.a.a. re-authorization? and i submit to you it has been from the committee. now, go back and check the committee records. we held more votes on this f.a.a. re-authorization in
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committee than we held probably for the last six years. i know certainly for the last four years on that one piece of legislation. on the floor we had an open process. i think there were some 30 amendments, 23 i believe were made in order. unless they were duplicative or the rules committee took them out, it was an open process as opposed to a closed process with closed rules that, again, we had on major pieces of legislation for sometime. so this has been an open process. again, the only project that will be stopped -- projects that will be stopped -- the house is going to act. the house is going to pass this. if we have to pass additional extensions, as i said, with the rest of the re-authorization piece by piece we are going to pass re-authorization to set the policy, the programs, the projects and the priorities for
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our aviation industry and for f.a.a. but the only projects that will be stopped are projects that if the other body doesn't act on this extension, they will be responsible for. and, again, the only difference in the extension, and we gave them three clean extensions and this is a clean extension with their provision that passed with their language unanimously in the other body, the only difference is i added three states -- actually three airports that subsidize in excess of $1,000 per ticket, per passenger. again, when the nation is going down the tubes almost literally because of debt we can't make one little tiny change and move this process forward, keep people working, put safety
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provisions that are in this re-authorization that we don't have now and move forward with it, there's something wrong. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: madam speaker, at this time i would yield to the gentlelady from texas, ms. johnson, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for four minutes. ms. johnson: thank you very much. let me thank the leadership on the committee and then simply appeal to my chairman, mr. mica , to come, let's reason together because this has been a committee that has the history of reasoning together. without me standing here going through it, you are very aware of what the most objectionable
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part to this extension is. if we are serious about passing an extension, let's pass the extension and deal with the other issues at another time. yes, it's been since 2007, and it's been because of the battling back and forth either pro-labor our anti-labor. we are ruining the lives of workers. we are subjecting safety to the whims, and we are messing up projects and wasting money by allowing this bickering to continue. i would simply appeal to our chairman to please come to the table, let's pass a clean extension bill. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas yields back her time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: thank you very much, madam speaker. i just thought so long as we're spending some time talking about the modest cleaning up of the series of earmarks that
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have accumulated over the years in the essential air service program, which is referred to by the chairman of the committee, it started out as a true essential air service to help provide access to the outside world to very isolated communities. it's gradually kind of gone from $200 million to $ 50 million. they are -- $250 million. it's been isolated. god knows why. let me mention a few of the areas that would be affected by these modest changes, saying it has to be more than 90 miles from another airport and secondly, try to cap the subsidy unless it's varied somewhat by the secretary at $1,000 per seat per flight. . one that would be affected, jonesboro, arkansas, 8 miles from memphis, can't drive 82 miles. want the federal government to
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provide service. athens, georgia, 72 miles from atlanta. getting subsidized. we are worrying about billions of dollars in subsidy. we can't even do this. where do we start? they say a big journey starts with a single step. we are not willing to take even in this small area the most modest of steps. hagerstown, maryland, north of here, 78 miles from the airport. getting a subsidy of over $800 per flight. it's right here baltimore as well. montana, 60 miles from another essential airport in montana, just 60 miles you could drive over to sydney, no, they are asking for $1,300, subsidy per passenger flying from glendive under this program.
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new mexico, 89 miles from a hub airport in el paso. if this continues, getting a $1,563 subsidy instead of driving 89 miles. you can rent a car. this is becoming -- this is a profligate hard to defend use of the taxpayers' money. yet people are talking about turning -- closing the government down or the f.a.a. down unless they can spend, $1,500 to subsidize a flight when you can drive 89 miles to another airport. this is what we are talking about. this is why my constituents and many others are wondering when we are going to get serious out here about taking the modest steps over and over again to get our financial affairs and our responsible stewardship of the
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federal taxpayers' money under better control. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: at this time i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, ms. norton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from the district of columbia is recognized for three minutes. ms. norton: i thank the gentleman from illinois for yielding. madam speaker, you know the debt limit isn't the only deadline that is upon us. here we are facing friday, d-day , for the nation's aviation system. this is the third congress where our committee has passed this bill. most of the sections of the bill do not have major disagreement. now we go for a bare two-month extension. on a policy rider, all i got to say is why make it more
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difficult? when you know that it goes through the other body, it's either going to be stripped out or we are going to be facing another terrible deadline. i appreciate the negotiations have been going on all along with staff. i do believe, though, that the failure of the majority to appoint -- to appoint conferees is a problem in this bill because were members appointed it seems to me that sends another signal and gets another set of people in it to move the bill. the conferees do matter an should have been appointed. -- and should have been appointed. these are difficult issues and they shouldn't be left to linger. next generation, air transportation. if we don't modernize our air transportation, we are going to
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be left behind even developing countries. one -- runway safety. we have had run-ins in airports right here where there are major airports. aircraft noise. we always have this issue of whether or not the perimeter rule is going to be extended or violated again. i oppose increases of the perimeter rule, but i oppose more not sitting down to figure it out. with conferees at the table. we've got in the air ambulance operation issues. the oversight of foreign carriers and of course the notorious national mediation board issue where what constitutes a majority could only be an issue in this congress is the majority of both class or the whole group. if it's the majority of votes cast, it's what all of us in the
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congress use every two years to get elected. there are matters in this issue -- there are matters in this bill that the congress has to do anyway that would be especially useful to do now. as we recover from the great recession. if we were to pass this bill providing jobs, which is something we have to do anyway, now when it would count would matter very much to the entire country. let's re-authorization the entire bill and quit short-term extensions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from illinois has 15 1/4 remaining. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i yield such time as he may consume to the chairman of the full committee, mr. mica. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. mica: madam speaker, the chair of the aviation subcommittee went through the list of the airports that are within 90 miles, would be affected by the provisions of this extension. now, all of those 10 airports were included in a -- an amendment, and provision that's in the senate bill, in the senate bill and passed unanimously. the only difference, and he spoke briefly to one of them, again is the provision that i put in putting a he restriction on paying more than $1,000 per ticket, per passenger subsidy. and those subsidies start in montana at one airport with -- $1,357. another airport, one airport in new mexico has a subsdy per
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ticket per passenger of $1,563. now, the granddaddy, the big enchilada in this whole thing is one airport in nevada, every ticket is subsidized, $3,719. now, you're telling me they are going to close down parts of the f.a.a. to preserve this subsidy when this nation again is on the verge of financial debt crises unheard in the history of our nation. so again i tried to deal on a bipartisan, bicameral basis, working with folks to get this done. 21 extensions. over four years. i'm not adding an entire bill. i'm adding that one provision.
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the other side did one of their extensions in the entire bill. the other language, mr. petri spoke to, was 10 airports that are within the distance of 90 miles that the senate passed unanimously. so it's not like i'm taking some language. a republican tried to change that in the rules committee and i recommended against it. and we did not change it because, again, i want to have language that the senate passed. that's what we boil down to on the eve of crises with f.a.a.. on an eve of a crises with our nation's finances, we are going to come an vote here. i want people to go back and say i voted for a $3,700 subsidy for air service for one passenger for one ticket. i want to see that list of names. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: madam speaker, at this time i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. engel: i thank the gentleman from illinois for yielding to me. madam speaker, i rise today in continued opposition to the airport and airway extension act of 2011, h.r. 2553. i will continue to oppose the f.a.a. re-authorization until the f.a.a. rethinks their ill-advised redesign for the airspace around new york, new jersey, and philadelphia. i have opposed this airspace redesign from day one along with some of my republican colleagues in new jersey as well, and have fought its implementation every step of the way. time and time again the f.a.a. has pursued the airspace redesign while ignoring the concerns of my constituents in new york. the f.a.a. created their proposal with zero input from the very people whose lives would be most harmed by the proposal. in fact, even when we brought this up to the f.a.a., there had
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to be -- they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into holding a public forum. this plan will only save minutes on flight time, disrupt the lives of thousands of residents in my district in new york, and in northern new jersey, who live under the new flight plans. as my constituents have noted to me, the noise and air pollution in the area will increase. it is unknown how this increase in air pollution will affect the disproportionate rate of childhood asthma in my district of the the modernization of our aviation system is necessary to bring it 23450 the 21st century. -- it into the 21st century. to maintain our technological advancements by implementing new equipment to keep our system the safest in the world. however there are several alternatives to this plan and i encourage my colleagues to join me in opposition to this re-authorization. not only are we going to have planes going into new wark airport fly directly over my
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constituents, but now there are other paths of planes coming in from j.f.k. airport as well. this is government at its worst. running roughshod over the people it's supposed to serve. not taking any kind of input. in fact, they come up with a redesign plan and then when it's challenged, the person who decides it was the very author. redefine plan to begin with. sounds like a kangaroo court to me. i am going to continue to oppose these things. i think at a time when we are all talking about government spending less and being more sensitive, this is a good place to start and i will continue to oppose the f.a.a. re-authorization until the f.a.a. revises their deeply flawed airspace redesign plan for new york, new jersey, and philadelphia. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i continue to reserve different given the difference in time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve.
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the gentleman from illinois. mr. costello: madam speaker, thank you. i would ask my friend, the chairman of the subcommittee, if he has other speakers. if he has no other speakers, i am prepared to be the last speaker on our side and yield back if there are no speakers on your side to close. mr. petri: excuse me. if you want to yield back. i was prepared to close at the very end for a minute or two. mr. costello: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. costello: madam speaker, we heard from chairman mica who we have worked with very closely. he has done his very best up to this point to try and get an f.a.a. re-authorization bill both out of the house and to the point where we can get it to a conference committee. so he's very frustrated with the process. we are very frustrated with the process. and today the extension that the
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majority is offering even frustrates us more because we know that this is n extension -- an extension, not a clean extension, but it has a rider on it involving essential air services. of the debate today and the discussion about this extension is not about essential air service. some members may support essential air service. others may not support it. there's been a lot said on the floor today about subsidizing a $3,000 subsidy per ticket just for the record we are not debating that. that is to be taken up by conferees if we ever get to conference. members can in fact have their opportunity to make changes in the e.a.s. program at that time. it should not be a part of this extension. but for the record let me say that in reference to an airport that was mentioned in montana, it is actually 607 miles from
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denver, to the denver airport. if you live in that community it's not just a short drive to get in a rental car and drive to the denver airport. also the nevada airport that was referenced from salt lake city you are talking 234 miles. and the list goes on and on. so that's an issue that we can debate at the appropriate time, some changes may need to be made to the essential air service program, but i think also we need to keep in mind we are not just talking about passengers getting from point a to point b where there's hundreds and hundreds of miles to get there to the nearest large hub aret to catch a flight, but we are also talking about moving medical supplies, donor organs, and a number ever other things. it's not just passengers. . let me also say, my friend, mr. mica mentioned as well we've had an open process here. well, in fact, we have not.
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the process has not been open on this extension. in fact, the majority dropped the bill on friday without consulting the minority. they did not consult with us about what might be in the extension. in addition to that they went to the rules committee and asked for a closed rule so that no member who might be affected by this legislation or might have an essential air service airport in their district that may want to go to the rules committee and in fact get an open rule or come to the floor to debate the merits of keeping their airport on the e.a.s. program, they did not have that opportunity because the majority asked for a closed rule. had the majority come to us in the minority and said we want a clean extension, we want to move it forward, we wouldn't be here today. we would in fact have voice voted this extension. it would have gone to the senate. it would have been voice voted
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there. we would have been a step closer to make sure that the f.a.a. is able to operate after the deadline on saturday. finally, let me say we are frustrated because i've heard chairman mica say many times, and i said as the ranking member, mr. rahall, has said we worked closely together. we've done everything we can do in order to work with mr. mica and mr. petri in order to get a bill. but i've read reports and i just heard mr. mica say on the floor again today that we could wrap this conference up in 20 minutes and he said today we could wrap it up within an hour, that there's only one issue that's remaining. just for the record, let me say if that's the case we have not been consulted on that one issue. there are several issues, and just for the record i would say one major issue that had not been resolved on other side, on the house side between the majority and minority, let
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alone on the -- wet other body is, one, funding levels, two, essential air service, three, repeal of the national mediation board, fourth is the d.c. issue, and the occupational health and safety issue for flight attendants, the lithium battery issue and the aircraft activity disclosure to the product, the bar program, and we have a list of other things to my knowledge have not been resolved. so when the chairman or others say we could wrap this up in 20 minutes or in one hour, i don't believe that is the case. in fact, i know it's not the case. we have not been consulted or negotiated to the extent that we could reach an agreement among ourselves on the house side let alone with our colleagues over in the other body. so let me just say that it's a disappointment to me. we have worked closely together to move the f.a.a. extension on
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a permanent basis. we are here on wednesday. the f.a.a. extension in fact will expire, the f.a.a. will have to lay off employees this saturday if in fact this extension is not approved by both bodies and sent to the president. and the senate has already told us that they are not going to accept this extension with this rider, in fact, in the extension. they will approve a clean extension, and it's my understanding the other body is going to pass a clean extension and send it over here sometime today or by the end of the week. so it would be my hope that the majority would in fact accept a clean extension so that the f.a.a. could continue to serve the flying public and do all of the things that are essential to keeping the safest aviation
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system in the world as safe as possible so that we can begin to try and get a permanent bill and a long-term bill as well. finally, i would conclude by saying that we need to appoint conferees. the senate has passed their bill in february of this year. we have passed our bill in april, and we are here now in the latter part of july and chairman mica is saying that all of these issues have been resolved but one and we do not even have conferees appointed. so i would just encourage the leadership, ranking member rahall and i have sent a letter to the speaker and the leadership in the majority saying, let's appoint conferees. the senate las appointed conferees. the only opportunity we have to appoint conferees in the last congress was in fact stifled and held up by the senate and frankly by two senators from the state of tennessee over one issue.
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so let's get the nonsense behind us. i want to -- there's things in the essential air program that i'd like to see changed. there are things in the bill that i would like to see us reach an agreement on. the only way to do that is to get an extension passed so the f.a.a. can get past saturday and operate until september 16. it will give us an opportunity to appoint conferees so we can meet with the conferees that have already been appointed in the other body to reach a permanent agreement. the american people deserve better than what we're getting today on the floor of this house and the american people deserve to know that we in fact are doing everything that we can to move forward to keep the safest aviation system in the world exactly that, the world leader in safety around the world. so with that i would yield back the balance of my time and ask my colleagues to vote no on
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this extension and hope we can pass a clean extension. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. petri: i thank you, madam speaker. let me just conclude by urging my colleagues to support this 21st extension with a very, very modest change from a purely clean extension in that it yields to the senate for a provision that's included in the senate bill to eliminate quote-unquote essential air service for airports within 90 miles of another airport. we talked about the individual flight subsidy. let me just look at this issue from another point of view to make it perfectly clear what we're talking about. eight of the 10 airports that would be affected are with --
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because they're within 90 miles are within 90 miles of a hub airport. so that makes it much more convenient to just drive over. and what's the subsidy to each airport each year? let me just mention it. athens, georgia, over $1 million of federal money so that people don't have to drive 72 miles. we have morgantown, west virginia, right near the pittsburgh hub. nearly $1,500,000. the same thing, hagerstown, over $1 million so you don't have to drive over to 70-some miles to dulles. jonesboro, arkansas, $800,000 a year subsidy. it's right next to the memphis international airport. same thing, $1,600,000 going to johnstown, pennsylvania, which is 84 miles from the pittsburgh international airport.
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franklin oil city is getting a subsidy of nearly $1 million a year. they're right next to -- they're within 85 miles from the pittsburgh international airport. lancaster, pennsylvania, $ 1,400,000, also by pittsburgh. and jackson, tennessee, $1,200 ,000 in federal taxpayer money which is near the memphis international airport. it's not good to provide nonessential airport service who can drive an hour to an hour and a half. i urge my colleagues to support the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 357, the previous question is ordered on the bill.
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the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. and those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and airway trust fund, to amend title 49, united states code, to extend the airport improvement program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? mr. rahall: i ask for the yeas and nays -- i'm sorry. i have a motion at the desk, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? mr. rahall: yes, i am opposed to the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the motion. mr. petri: mr. speaker, i reserve a point of order. the speaker pro tempore: a point of order is reserved. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. rahall of west virginia moves to recommit the bill, h.r. 2553, to the committee on transportation and infrastructure with instructions to report the same
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back to the house forthwith with the following amendment. at the end of the bill add the following section. section 7, baggage fees for members of the armed forces. a, fees, no air carrier may charge any fee for the transport for four or fewer items of baggage checked by the member of the armed forces who is, one, traveling in scheduled air transportation on official military orders and, two, being deployed on or returning from an overseas contingency operation. b, definition, for purposes of this section the term baggage does not include an item whose weight exceeds 80 pounds. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. rahall: thank you, madam speaker. in june the american public learned that a major u.s. airline greeted a group of army soldiers who were returning home from the front lines in afghanistan with a bill for almost $3,000 or $200 a piece for each soldier to check four
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bags on a scheduled domestic flight. americans were right low outraged by the incident -- rightly outraged by the incident which was posted in a youles tube video. the fourth bag, for which he was charged $200, contained an import carbine rifle, a .9 millimeter pistol. a spokesman for the veterans of foreign wars told the associated press the fees were the worst welcome home any soldier could receive. the shock of even being charged is enough to make service men and women simply shake their heads and wonder who or what it is they are protecting, end quote. members of the armed forces who are serving our country on the front lines should not endure personal financial hardship when they are traveling to or
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returning from war zones. yet, the media's reporting of the incident last month showed that major u.s. carriers were applying the same or similar policies across the board. airlines were charging soldiers to check four reasonably sized bags and were profiting at the expense of the brave men and women of the armed forces who were going to or coming home from war. this amendment, this motion to recommit prohibits u.s. air carriers from charging soldiers for up to four bags of checked baggage. it applies to bags that weigh 80 pounds or less and is consistent with many airlines' published policy. i urge my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion, as they should, to support this amendment. if the amendment is adopted it will not kill the bill. the house will vote on the bill immediately after this amendment is adopted. this motion recognizes a tremendous debt of our gratitude owed by the united states to the men and women of our armed forces. members of the armed forces who are going to the front lines or
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coming home from a war zone should not be given a bill with nair boreding passes. i urge my colleagues -- boarding passes. i urge my colleagues to join me in ensuring our nation's airlines treat our warriors with the respect they deserve for defending our country. this is a bipartisan -- should be a bipartisan, overwhelmingly yes and i close by saying, vote for our veterans, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may not reserve. mr. rahall: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia yields back the balance of his time. does the gentleman from wisconsin continue to reserve his point of order? mr. petri: i withdraw my point of order, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the point of order is withdrawn. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> i rise in opposition to recommit, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair -- madam speaker. i think it is absolutely outrageous what happened to those soldiers.
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as a military officer for 24 years i think it's absolutely heinous what happened to those soldiers. quite frankly it's outrageous and i think we should ask chairman mica for an open debate on this issue. it's something that definitely should be taken a look into. as a matter of fact, i will ask chairman mica to make sure this never happens to another united states service member. . unfortunately, madam chairman, we are bringing this up on a motion to recommit. my question would be why didn't we bring this up earlier? this act? we should be debating this when we -- just a moment, sir, i'll yield. we should have opened this up when we had open committee and this should have been brought up then. but not now in the motion to recommit when we have f.a.a. jobs on the line and we need to get this bill moved forward. i look forward to engaging that
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debate a little further on and i look forward to working with you in ensuring this does not happen again. but now is not the time. and we need to investigate this a little bit later on. and i yield back the balance of my time. i yield to the gentleman. mr. rahall: in response to the gentleman's question asked a few second ago. it was a closed rule. there was no way we could have brought this up in the amendment process. the gentleman's party controls the rules of this body. controls the legislative debate. >> we did have an f.a.a. open debate, madam speaker. we could have brought this up at this time. mr. rahall: quite frankly. it did not occur until after the markup of this bill. mr. cravaack: i would like regular order. we should not be opening this at this time on a motion to recommit. i will fully work with the other side in trying to make sure this does not happen again to another soldier. i look forward to that discussion.
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having it right now is a little bit disingenuous on this f.a.a. re-authorization. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the noes have it. the motion is not agreed to. mr. rahall: i ask for the yeas and nays. recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote this eyeas are 187, the nays are 233. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. >> i ask for a roll call vote. the chair: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
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[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 243, the nays are 177. the bill has passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i present a privileged report for printing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: report to accompany h.r. 2596, a bill making appropriations for departments of commerce and justice and
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science and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the union calendar and ordered printed. points of order are reserved. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote of the yeas and nays are ordered. or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. recorded votesland postponed question lbs taken -- votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.j.res. 66. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the joint resolution. the clerk: house joint resolution 66. joint resolution approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the burmese freedom and democracy act of 2003.
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the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman mean to call up the bill as amended? >> the bill has not been amended. excuse me, mr. speaker, the bill has been amended as filed. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. boustany, and the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, will each control 20 minutes. the house will be in order. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield such time as i might consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
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mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. boustany: mr. speaker, as an original co-sponsor of this bill, i rise in strong support of h.j.res. 66 which would continue the imposition of sanctions against the repressive regime in burma for another year. the purpose of imposing sanctions against burma is to promote democracy and respect for human rights and improve living conditions for the burmese people. unfortunately the ruling giunta is zill dedicating to working against, not toward, those objectives. for that reason i am in favor of continuing our practice of extending import sanctions against burma for another year. burma's regime is one of the most -- one of the world's most repressive and continues to prepress democratic movements and humanitarian imism. on november 7, 2010, the military hu -- junta known as the state peace and development council or spdc, held an election for the first time in
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20 years. however, while the elections are usually -- while elections are usually considered a step towards democracy, in this case it was actually a step backwards. these elections were not transparent, inclusive or credible. notably burma's leading prodemocracy party, the national league for democracy, as well as others were not allowed to participate in the elections. and by ensuring that most candidates were former high ranking government and military officials, the election victory by the government-backed union sol darity and development party simple -- solidarity and development party simply means that the military junta remain in control with the i have near of an election to justify itself. shortly following the elections, -on--on-, freedom fighter, nobel peace prize recipient, and congressional gold medal winner and general secretary of the n.l.d., was finally released
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after having been falsely detained for 15 of the past 21 years. however, in a move highlighting how little things have changed in burma, the junta recently warned sue chi that there may be chaos and riots if she continues on her cross country tour to meet with supporters. the government also chided sue chi and the n.l.d. for their political work and threatened that they should stop doing so to avert unnecessary consequences. anunanun's last tour, she was attacked by a progovernment mob that killed many of her followers and landed her under house arrest for the next seven years. in short, the political situation in burma and for the burmese people has not changed at all. the human rights situation is no better. the state department human rights report in burma echoed by the march united states council
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resolution cites a laundry list of grave human rights violations that are simply appalling. according to the state department, this repugnant regime in which military officers wield ultimate authority at every level of government continues to force -- use forced labor, denies participation in any democratic processes and commits extra judicial killings. the regime detaylor danes civic activists indefinitely and without charge and it engages in harassment, abuse and detention of human rights and prodemocracy activists. the regime is rumored to hold an estimated 2,100 political prisoners, ethnic violence inflicted by the army is also rife. there have been recent reports of renewed fighting in northern burmese province between the government and ethnic minority villagers resulting in reportedly up to 20,000 refugees. not only have these people been driven from their homes and many killed, they have also been --
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there have also been widespread reports of the rape of women and children. what have we been doing on our end? i'm pleased that this congress amplified our sanctions three years ago to eliminate trade in jewelry containing burmese rubies, even if the jewelry was made in and exported from a third country. the expansion was designed to bring about multilateral pressure on the regime through the united nations and the world trade organizations, similar to successful legislation on conflict diamonds. i urge similar campaigns against burmese rubies at the u.n. and w.t.o. i must be clear that i generally view import sanctions with great september similar -- skepticism. however, if there was a right way to impose sanctions -- sanctions, i think that these burma sanctions are crafted to maximize the ability to affect change. for example, they require the administration to issue annual reports on burma that include findings of whether u.s. national security, economic and foreign policy interests are being served so that we can make
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an informed decision. perhaps the most critical aspect of the burma sanctions program is that they require us to redirect our attention every summer to the question of whether these sanctions should be continued. because they are not self-executing, we here in congress must consider this issue and vote to continue them on an annual basis. i continue to believe that our greatest hope for affecting real change in burma is multilateralism. i am therefore disappointed that there has not been sufficient multilateral pressure against this regime. i strongly urge the administration to put more pressure on our trading partners to place the leaders of this regime under targeted economic pressure that denies them access to personal wealth and sources of revenue. i call on the united nations, burma's southeast asian neighbors and the people's republic of china to step up engagement considerably. i support this resolution because it increases our chances to bring about this multilateral effort, to promote democracy and
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end the long-time suffering of the burmese people. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman claim time in opposition? does the gentleman claim time in opposition? the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: you already divided the time, didn't you? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in strong support of house joint resolution 66, a measure to renew the ban on imports from burma. . over the past 23 years, burma's authoritarian regime has killed political opponents, waged war against ethnic minorityings and in the process had the worst human rights records in the modern era. finally, with continued pressure from congress, and the
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inspiring leadership of the nobel peace laureate, burma's military junta promised to lay down its arms and clear the way for democracy. unfortunately, that was a sham. parliamentary elections were rife with fraud. opposition parties were banned from offering up candidates. votes were rigged to provide electoral legitimacy to the current rule. once again, the people of burma were denied a free and fair opportunity to choose their own leaders. human rights violations are widespread. under the guise of a new civilian in parliament, it's business as usual for the old regime. in the light of the unchanged political reality in burma, the renewal of america's ban on burmese imports could not be more urgent.
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we must send a message to burma's new rulers that turn out to be the same as the old rulers that empty promises of democratic reform are unacceptable. there are some who will question whether we should maintain our import ban following burma's election and thes by solution of the military junta. even our european allies have begun to rethink their strategy as e.u. travel and financial restrictions have been lifted on certain officials in the new government. the problem with that approach, mr. speaker, is that meaningful reform has yet to take place in burma. by opening our orders to burmese imports, we would only strengthen and enrich the same old regime that maintains a strangleholded on civic and family life in burma. according to the u.n., the new government failed to make any significant progress on land
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confiscation, extra jurebl killings and sexual violence against women and the obama administration affirms these views. burma's sanctions are unique because they have the widespread support of the burmese salespeople. the nobel peace laureate recently said herself, the sanctions should be -- should remain in place and only be changed when things have changed here. her political party also confirmed its view that american sanctions do not hurt the public at large. that's a quote. do not hurt the public at large. as the true target in burma's undemocratic leadership. in response, true to form, the so-called new government warned publicly that she and members of her party would meet, and i quote, tragic ends. if they continue to call for international sanctions. in passing h.r. 66, and
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re-authorizing the block burmese jade act of 2008, congress will send a clear message of support to the people of burma in their aspirations for true democracy and a lasting peace. until there is meaningful reform in burma, mr. speaker, we must keep steadfast in our support of the burmese people and maintain the pressure on burma's undemocratic rulers. i urge my colleagues to pass house joint resolution 66 and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i yield two and a half minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts. mr. pitts: i rise in strong support of this resolution to renew sanctions against the brutal military dictators in burma. the plight facing these people of burma remains terrible.
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they continue to deprive nert groups of human rights and their lives. it does so with impunity. their human right violations continue to be horrific. the regime in burma is responsible for committing virtually every human rights violation imaginable. the atrocities perpetrated by the regime range from rape as a weapon of terror, the recruitment of child soldiers, ethnic clensing, forced labor, political detention and the list goes on. i received firsthand reports in my office detailing their use of ethnic minorities as human land mine sweepers. over one million refugees and 500,000 internally displaced peoples have been forced to flee their homes and 750,000 of the country's inhabitants remain stateless, indicative of the times they have turned to censorship of the internet as
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well as individual email accounts and social networking sites to block dissemination of evidence relating to atrocities. they must realize that such attempts to hide its records of abuse and mock constitutional reforms cannot cover up their war against their own people. such a record only demonstrates the regime's illegitimacy. i call on the administration to renew its efforts in fulfilling the burmese freedom and democracy act of 2003 and particularly the provision which requires our government to craft a multilateral sanctions regime against burma. by renewing these sanctions, congress is making our nation's concern for human rights paramount in our foreign relations interest. the administration should do the same. the people of burma must know that we stand with them. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i yield to the
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gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, such time as he may consume. mr. crowley: i thank my friend from washington for yielding me the time. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of house joint resolution 66. this measure is a seen of how we can all work together on foreign policy when we put our minds to it. i want to acknowledge the bipartisan support for human rights in burma, both here in the house as well as in the senate. the burmese freedom and democracy act and the burr meese jade act have prevented hundreds of millions of dollars from getting into the hands of the burmese government. we ensure that the people of burr many see us as an ally in their struggle for human rights and we send a message that the united states will not turn a blind eye to crimes against humanity.
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there's no question that burma is ruled by one of the world's most brutal governments. over the past year, we have seen ongoing abuses committed by the burmese military including rapes, torture, and killings. just last week, human rights watch released a report documenting how villagers are subjected to summary executions, torture and being used as human shields during conflict. women in burma live in constant fear of rapes by soldiers of their own military. for the leaders of the burmese military, rape is a tactic of war. one used to torment and intimidate entire populations. not just their immediate victims. in fact, just two weeks ago, on july 5, the burmese soldiers carried out four more rapes against ethnic civilians. the innocentvilles were of all
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different ages and one of those victims was as young as 12 years of age. that's right. a 12-year-old girl was raped by a member of the burmese military. as a result of thousands of brutal rapes and other abuses, burmese villagers continue to flee their homes into the jungle where they live as refugees or internally displaced people. as bad as these abuses are, this bill is not only about stopping human rights abuses. we must remember that the inspiration for this measure came from a remarkable woman, the nobel peace prize recipient. she led her political party to victory in burma's last flee and fair election in 1990. many people call her the nell so -- nelson mandela of burma and the u.s. house of representatives voted to award her the congressional gold
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medal. up until last november, she was also the world's only imprisoned nobel peace prize recipient and today, even though she's no longer under formal house arrest, the military has threatened her over and over again in an attempt to intimidate her into silence. she's called on people throughout the world to take action saying, and i quote, please use your liberty to promote ours, end quote. she and the democracy movement in burma have also maintained sanctions on burma. this is similar to how the african national congress did in the 1980's. passing the bill isn't all we must do i want to urge the administration to fully implement the burmese freedom and act and burmese jade act. it gives us tools to implement tough, bilateral sanctions on
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members of the regime and its cronies that we should receive as soon as possible. it's important to remember that the united states isn't the only country that has imposed sanctions on burma. this is not a bilateral effort. it is a multilateral effort. while every country has different types of sanctions, those that have taken action include australia, canada, new zealand, the european union and more. we should be doing all we can to expand these sanctions into an even greater multilateral effort. that's why in the burmese jade act, we ask the president to appoint an enjoy to -- envoy to work internationally on increasing pressure to the burmese regime. now that the envoy has been nominated, i urge our colleagues in the senate to confirm him without haste and hope he gets to work quickly. i also urge the investigation of crimes against humanity
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committed by the burmese military. they are clearly carrying out crimes against humanity. the sooner these abuses are investigated, the sooner they'll end. this bill is the right thing to do. i stand in strong support of the bill and urge its immediate adoption and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i yield to mr. hope, the -- three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. hope: i rise in support of this resolution. when i first visited burma decades ago, i earn will -- i learned what a difference a
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misguided regime can make. mr. holt: burma had a rich history, fertile land, abundant resources and a productive population. in the years following the coupe in the early 198 -- the cue -- the coup in the early 1960's, they brutalized their people in a pattern that exists today. for more than 20 year the united states government has sought to use its influence to try to create conditions for restoration of democracy and the rule of law in burma. one tool has been the use of sanctions. the burmese freedom and democracy act was signed into law eight years ago this month. and it requires the president to impose a ban on the import of products from burma. it blocks u.s. support for loans from international financial institutions and freezes the assets of and bans visas for key members of the military junta that's imposed its will on the burmese people for decades.
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i believe these sanctions should be renewed because there's evidence they are working. last november, burmese elections were clearly illegitimate and not a free expression of the will of the burmese people but the continuing international pressure on and scrutiny of the junta may be having some tangible effects. the international crisis group noted earlier this year two senior junta leaders have resigned since the elections and there's some evidence that pressure has eased on some of the minority ethnic groups in the country. . burma's greatest human rights figure, aung san suu kyi, told the australian broadcasting network yesterday that continued use of targeted sanctions is important. quote, i think it's much better to have very, very clear targets, she said. and continued, quote, i do not
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think it's really very reasonable just to say we want an improvement in human rights, in your human rights record, it's too vegas. -- vague. the release of political prisoners, the inclusion of all in the political process, the rule of law and so on, pick out the important points and say, well, if you want sanctions removed, you've got to do these. mr. speaker, we need to continue standing with aung san suu kyi and all of the freedom-seeking burmese. this resolution gives us a chance to do that. which is why i urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this resolution. and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: mr. speaker, i'd like to inquire as to whether or not the gentleman from georgia has any -- excuse me, the gentleman from washington has any other members wishing to speak on this. mr. mcdermott: no. and i would only say that this bill expires on the 26th of june
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-- july, so we need to act on it quickly and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington yields his time. mr. boustany: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm in full agreement. we need to move and pass this and i think we'll get it bassed -- passed. i must say for the gentleman from washington, at least we have a trade bill on the floor, i hope there are many more to come. we're waiting for the president to send the three pending agreements to us so we can move forward on these and embark on a very aggressive trade agenda and with that i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house joint resolution 66 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the joint resolution is agreed to. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. >> unanimous consent to address the house for win minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection -- one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, you may address the house for one minute. >> mr. speaker, two things come from a town called kiln,
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mississippi, that's an -- a famous nfl quarterback and lazy magnolia beer. we know brett's story but let me tell but lazy magnolia. one christmas leslie henderson bought her husband mark a home brew kit. the two engineers started brewing beer and eventually turned their hobby into a business. we can fix our faltering economy by giving small business owners more responsibility. mr. palazzo: h.r. 1236, the small brew act, does that. allowing a much-needed tax cut to our small brewers. by lowering the tax on the beer they produce, these companies will have more revenue to invest in maintaining and hiring employees. this legislation therefore promises to create over 4,000 jobs. on that christmas a few years ago, lazy magnolia beer had no employees. today it -- today it provides jobs to about 20 people in hancock county. that, my friends, is an american success story. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there further requests for one-minute speeches?
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under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentlewoman from north carolina, mrs. ellmers, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority. mrs. ellmers: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. so ordered. mrs. ellmers: thank you, mr. speaker. today we have a wonderful group of women who are going to come together and discuss the issues at hand right now in washington. and across america. as we all are so concerned with what is happening to our economy . those of you out there are up late at night wondering how you're going to be paying that mortgage, wondering how the car payment is going to be made. and which payments you'll make this month and which payments you may have to put off for another time. we're all doing it, we might as
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well all admit it and it's time to come together for solutions and answers. and we as g.o.p. women in congress know how important these issues are. we are the women that are taking care of our children, we're taking care of our households, we're taking care of our parents and their health care needs and we're watching out for our neighbors to make sure that they're ok. and we continue on this path, we simply cannot run on this path of unsustainable spending and financial uncertainty. we need jobs back in this country. there are those who have jobs and are worried if they're going to be able to keep them. and yet there are others who have lost their jobs and wonder if they'll be able to find another job. we understand this. we understand that it's affecting all of our mr. holden:s and we're going to come together and discuss -- our households and we're going to come together and discuss all of these issues. before i get started i'm going to pass along to you one of the
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greatest quotes that i think hits home to all of us from ronald reagan. all great change in america beguns -- begins at the dinner table. how true is that? we all know, now, many of our households, we don't all eat dinner together anymore like we used to. when i was growing up dinner time was a specified time and we all came together and if you didn't get to the table, you didn't eat. but today we're all on different schedules, but that dinner table still remains. and we still sit there and we discuss these issues with our spouses. my husband is a doctor, he practices in north carolina. we have a son who is 16. i'm worried about his future, i'm worried about my husband's practice because he is suffering, realizing that the volume of patience -- patients he once was seeing has decreased. that's out of fear and that's out of the health care system that we have created now.
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so as we move forward i'm going to be introducing to you some of the greatest women that i have had the honor of getting to know here in d.c. i have many friends back home, but these ladies are my family here. and i'm going to start off with my esteemed colleague from north carolina, mrs. sue myrick, and she has been a mentor to me, but mostly a friend and i thank you, sue, for coming today and sharing your thoughts. mrs. myrick: well, it's my honor to be here and i thank you for yielding me the time. you know, as you said, we have a lot of colleagues here and most of us share the same ideas relative to what we're about, you mentioned and are talking there about the dinner table and women being financial plansers. we do the budget, we're the ones that take care of our family, as you said, we're the health care providers, all of that. but you know, you mentioned your
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husband in business but i also am a former small business owner and when i look at what's happening today there are so many businesses, i think there are like 400 new businesses every day that are started by women in this country. and when i talk to business owners at home, they say to me, you know, i'm really concerned about the fact that i could expand my business but i'm afraid to because of the uncertainty that's out there. i don't know what policies are coming down, i don't know what kind of health care costs i'm going to have. i don't know what tax policies and if i hire somebody what it's going to cost me to retain that employee, i don't want to hire them and train them and then have to turn right around and, you know, maybe let them go because i can't afford to keep them. and so the policies that we're working on and all the women in congress on our side of the aisle that really care about these issues are to make sure
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that we put policies in place that help and promote those small businesses to exist because they hire most of the people in the country, most of the jobs are provided by small business and it's really important. i also, from another standpoint, used to be the mayor of charlotte. unfortunately the first and only female mayor. i wish somebody else would run on the female side. but that's beside the point. what i wanted to say is that we had to operate with a balanced budget. very simple. you know? and you can do it. and we've been talking this week and actually passed the bill yesterday of you the cut, cap and balance. i mean, what a novel idea. it's the way all of us live all the time, it's how we do our business and there's no reason the federal government, like the 49 states that balance their budget, can't be living under a balanced budget. yeah, it's tough, i mean, we have to make some hard decisions, but the bottom line
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in all that have is we can do it and if we have the resolve, the american people want us to do it, there's no such thing as government money, it's all the taxpayers who send their money up here to washington, that's what we're spending and we've been spending too much of it. so i'm encouraged by the fact that we really did have a vote on that bill yesterday that says, you know, we're going to live within our means, we're going to do what you do every day and we as women can have a voice in that. and we'll continue to have a voice in that and i thank you so much for putting this together so we have a chance to express that to the american people. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. i yield now to era butler. ms. herrera beutler: thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. this is one of the most monl mental times we face as a nation.
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we are right now making decisions that are not just going to impact those of us here today but our children and our children's children. i am so proud to be a part of this body that passed a bipartisan solution to our budgeting problems just yesterday. we passed, like the gentlelady spoke about, a balanced budget amendment. you know, i know there's a lot of controversy happening right now and it's frustrating to watch people posture here in washington, d.c., folks back home are sending emails and they're calling me saying, you can just get some solutions done in washington? and my response is, i completely agree. it is frustrating to watch partisan bickering taking place and i kind of smile to myself and i think, just put more women in charge because we're going to fight for solutions and that's what we're here doing today. promoting the solutions that we were able to pass on the floor just yesterday. solutions that require this house, this body, not to spend more money than it has coming
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in. you know, it shouldn't be a radical concept, it shouldn't be controversial in the least. every mother watching this, every mother in america, daughter, sister, aunt understands you cannot spend more money each month than you have coming in. you know, women in the household tend to be the decision makers when it comes to finances to health care, to education, to parental, you know, taking care of older paints or family. women tend to be those decision makers. which gives us a solution-oriented bent which is why we're here today saying we are willing to work with anybody who puts a plan on paper to move this country forward, that reduces government overspending, again, very simple, don't spend more than you have coming in every month, that is a plan to economic prosperity. don't treat small business owners, many of whom are women,
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don't treat small business owners as your personal piggy bank, you can't just go back to the cash cow every time you want to spend more money. it's ironic, margaret thatcher, i saw this quote i think yesterday, basically said, i'm going to paraphrase her loose will you but she said -- loosely but she said, the problem with socialists is they run out of other people's money and that's the reality. women understand. you just can't live beyond your means for sustained amounts of time. and for too long people of both parties, right, republicans and democrats, overspent. people of both parties in the white house have overspent. we can talk a long time about what got us here but that's not going to get us out of the mess. what we need now is our solution and the solution that was passed yesterday, again, a bipartisan solution to cut the overspending, cap future growth of government and balance our budget is a solution that's
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going to get our country on a path to prosperity, it's going to tell job creators, keep doing what you do best, entrepreneur, keep dreaming, hire more people. in my neck of the woods in southwest washington we have double-digit unemployment. three years-plus now of families hurting, enough is enough. i encourage the senate, i encourage the white house to come to an agreement, show us something on paper, we're willing to work together and to negotiate, we're all about making a solution happen for the american people but let's live within our means, it shouldn't be that difficult. so with that i thank the gentlelady for putting this together and i'm proud to be a part of it and i yield back. . >> thank you so much, i yield to my good friend from alabama, mrs. roby, a mother of two and wise beyond her years. mrs. roby: i thank you for those kind remarks. what an honor and privilege to
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be here on the floor of the u.s. house of representatives, representing alabama's second district, but also here just to embrace the very quote you began with, all great change in america begins at the dinner table. from president ronald reagan. as i sit here and i'm listening to my colleagues, i can't help but reflect back on my time as a child around the dinner table with my parents and my siblings and i am so grateful for the parents i had that encouraged debate but taught me the responsibility i have as an american and an individual and certainly i credit my wonderful parents with the -- for the opportunities i had to lead me to this place today to have the privilege of -- privilege and honor of representing alabama's second district. this week this congress is embarking on a historical path. we all understand the responsibility that we have and each of us brings to the table,
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as women who pump gas and go to the grocery store and see the rising cost of milk, we bring a perspective to this congress i think is vitally important to demonstrate exact pli where this country is now. the people that are having to make the choice between whether they're putting food on their table or gas in their car that they can get to their job to sproid -- provide for their family. thank you for letting me part of this, all of us here on the floor today, since the day we walked in particularly this past january, we have been fighting to tighten the belt around -- tighten the government's belt. every american has done so in the past, several years, and it's time that this federal government does the same. we did it with the continuing resolution. we did it with the house budget
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resolution, and we have been doing it throughout the appropriations process and we have done it this week. our children, hi children, my children -- my children, my children's children, they deserve a future free of crushing taxes so they have the same opportunities i mentioned i had before. they deserve to be free from a life of indebtedness to china. the cut, ap, and balance act ensuring we fulfill our constitutional obligation to pay for our debts. we're at a place right now, you and i could never call up our credit card company and say, hey, credit card company, i've maxed out my card, i don't have any cash to pay you the interest on what i already owe, so could you just increase my credit limit? can you imagine? can you imagine going to your husband an sayingish maxed it out and need a little more, so i'm going to call the credit
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card company. that's what's going on here. if we don't insist, just like you and i would in our home, just like our spouses would, just like we would for our children, if we do not insist that there be significant spending reforms where we cut up that credit card and say no more, your child wouldn't change his or her behavior if you just continued to give them more, nor would you change your behavior if your credit card company allowed that kind of action. we should require the same of our federal government as we do in our homes. it is so urgent that we provide the american people with honest, honest solutions. i believe that we have demonstrated that this week. i look forward to the next coming weeks as we can do all that we can as republicans -- as republican women to help turn this tide of spending in 24 couldn't -- in this country so we can save this country from the next generation.
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it cannot be about the next election. it must be about the next generation. thank you so much and i yield back. >> i'd like to yield to my very, very special friend, mrs. biggert of illinois who has been a voice of reason. she is a strong woman here in congress for us in the g.o.p. conference and i appreciate all of her remarks which are always extremely thoughtful. mrs. biggert: thank you. thank you and i thank you for doing this, i think that we've got such great women that have come into this congress in this last turn and i really -- you are all moving forward and really, i think, setting the tone for what's going to happen in the future. i appreciate that. but you know, it is time for america to live within its means. i got an email from a
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constituent from lockport, illinois, recently and she wrote to me imploring congress to say no. no to all personal income tax increases. she further explained she's a single mom. think of how many single moms are out there, having to work, to keep their kids clothed and in school and keep her home going. she said that she a single mom, struggling to keep her home, raise her son and pay her bills. she says, i cannot pay any more taxes. i will lose everything. and there are so many like that out there. a gentleman from dallas grove, illinois, wrote to me and said, it's sad to see the constant disagreement in washington over almost all issues including national security, foreign affairs, etc., but the budget must be controlled. this is the hard-earned money
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of american taxpayers that must be spent wisely. less is better. we must live on budgets and not be able to borrow whenever we run out of money as the gentlelady just said. we don't have -- most people don't have a credit card that they can go and get their limit rizzed. neither should -- raised. neither should we. we have to cut taxes and stop spending. let's get people back to work so this country can prosper and be great again. for too long, the government spent the taxpayers into a debt they can cannot afford and put trillions into the so-called stimulus, the economy has grown only weakly in this -- as a result. our tax burden is approaching the highest levels in our country's history and is expected to rise. unless we take action now, it could exed 20% of g.d.p. in
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three years a record we've only seen once in 35 years. similarly, household taxes are excessively high, even in a slow economy at over 18,000 last year, the average household tax burden has almost doubled in the last 50 years. what's worse is that the interest on our debt for one year is equal to the entire budget of the department of labor, agriculture and veterans' affairs combined. it means that each american's hair soft -- share of our debt is over 46,000 -- is over $46,000. when i think of our family, this means that my nine grandchildren would collectively owe over $414,000 if they had to pay their share of our debt today. before my youngest grandson graduates from college, helio $103,000 on our national debt. this is unacceptable. that's high we took this first step to address the crisis
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yesterday by passing the cut, cap, and balance act. our colleagues across the aisle would argue that this plan goes too far by restricting future borrowing. but the reality is that this bill simply caps spending at the same sustainable rates as past generations, about 20% of g.d.p., a post-world war ii average no more and no less. don't we care as much about our children and grandchildren as our parents did? i do. and i think -- so do the people who sent us here to to congress. we need to show our creditors, our competitors and the american people that we are willing to make the tough choices needed to restore confidence and growth in the united states. i'm so proud of all the women that are participating in this and are really making a difference and showing that we can move forward and balance our budget and live within our means like families all across
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america. i thank you. >> to your points, i would just like to refer to this chart right here. as you can see, we have two individuals who are talking about how they're going to pay those taxes. that checkbook right there was obviously -- with obviously a nice lady's hand filling out that check. we don't know what it's for but we all know that feeling this ran in the chicago tribune, maye 6, 2011, it says financial planners say they're see manager women become thising -- becoming the sole decisionmaker when it comes to the family's finances, as you were speaking. more and more are women are taking on the role of the family's chief financial officer. they can tell you how much it truly costs to run the family. ms. ellmers: i think we should
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talk about how much it costs to run the country and stick to that budget as well. i would like to yield to my good friend, the last time we had a special order, i just literally watched her because she is a numbers person and i am always so impressed by that because i am not a numbers person. so thank you to my -- the gentlelady from kansas, she is again just so incredibly smart and i thank you, lynn jenkins, for coming today to help us with this effort. ms. jenkins: i thank the gentlelady from north carolina for yielding. i am lynn jenkins from the second congressional district in kansas, a proud republican woman. a mother of two. and a c.p.a. with nearly 20 years of experience helping small businesses, major corporations and american families budget and return to solvency.
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you see a family up there in the picture and i have spent nearly two decades working with families across the dinner table to help them chart their way back to prosperity and fiscal responsibility and i can tell you that if you want to be serious about balancing your budget and returning to solvency, you have to look at both sides of the ledger. you have to look at what you're taking in and what you're spending, you have to look at your assets and your liabilities. and when it comes to spending and liabilities, it seems that in this town, there is some consensus ta -- consensus that washington does indeed have a spending problem. the time to rein in this out-of-control wasteful washington spending and debt is long overdue. that is why the house has passed a responsible fact-based
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budget that will curb federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years and why just yesterday, we passed a measure to again cut spending by trillions of dollars and tap in -- and cap any future spending as part of the deal to grant the president his request to raise the debt ceiling. but it is our assets that make our country truly blessed. because our greatest asset is the strength, the drive, and the ingenuity of the american worker and the american business owner. that is why we need to enhance this asset and therefore increase our revenues in a way that grows the economy and it is not to hit our small businesses with tax increases or more regulation. but rather to institute these
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pro-greth policies like house republicans are doing in our efforts to reform the tax code to make it fairer and flatter to increase exports by finally passing the three pending trade agreements, increase our energy reduction and remove the burdensome regulations stifling growth in hiring. you simply can't tax your way out of this mess and into a robust economy. you have to grow your way out of it. you don't have to take my word for it. the president himself agreed with me just last year when he said, raising taxes would, and i quote, just take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole. balancing our budget is critical to our future. just as it is critical to every business and family across this great country system of it's my hope that the establishment here in washington can finally see the errors of its ways, make real cuts to this out-of-
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control spending bing, put hard controls on the attempts to limit spending in the future and establish pro-growth policies to lift us out of the stagnant economy and into prosperity the american people deserve. i yield back. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. i now yield to my good friend from it'd, part of -- from south dakota, part of our freshman class who has truly shown her leadership. thank you for coming today, mrs. noem, i'm very excited to hear your comments. mrs. noem thank you and i thank the gentlelady for yielding to me. -- mrs. noem: thank you and i thank the gentlelady for yielding to me. i rise as a proud republican woman and a wife and a mother and someone concerned abwashington, d.c.'s spending habits. we not only need a solution to dig ourselves out of the situation we are in but make sure we don't find ourselves back in the same place. we need to make sure we are
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putting ourselveses on a new fiscal path that addresses the problems we have in front of us. the frustrating thing about that entire process is that the president has been on the sidelines. certainly we all know the biblical phrase, without a vision people perish, and that's what is happening today. we don't have a leader willing to step forward and tell us what he truly thinks are the options available to us. that's been left to others and he's been more than willing to stand on the sidelines and criticize every single one of the options brought forward his original budget failed to even address our most difficult problems. . while the democratic led senate voted down his budget unanimously, no one jumped onboard because they recognized that under his plan, that we doubled our debt in five years and tripled it in 10. it certainly wasn't going to be the eab to what we needed -- what going to be the answer to what we needed to prevent this financial crisis that we find
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ourselves in. since then the executive branch has failed to provide the american people with a solid plan to move forward. during a house budget committee hearing, the c.b.o. director referenced president obama's revised budget speech by saying this, we don't estimate speeches. we need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis. and essentially what he was saying was, we can't score a speech, we don't know what a speech means, anybody can give a really great speech. what we need is leadership. we need someone to step up to the table, tell us what we need to do to address our problems so we can put it into action. house republicans have taken this lead. in the looming budget crisis, we've shown shown time and time again that we're serious about cutting our spending, we're serious about balancing the budget. in february we passed h.r. 1 that continued funding through 2011 only to have it stalled by the senate. which in effect essentially delayed any action until it got down to the brink of a government shutdown. in march we passed a budget plan for fiscal year 2012, we're
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still waiting, more than 800 days, for the senate to pass any kind of anything that resembles a budget. we're doing our work here in the house. with you we -- but we can't do it alone. we need a willing partner in the president, we need a willing partner in the senate. last night the house again passed yet another plan to get our fiscal house in order. we voted wlomingly to support cut, cap and balance -- overwhelmingly to support cut, cap and balance. i supported this plan because my constituents have been calling me for weeks tell meg to support serious change, -- telling me to support serious change. they realsize they can't spend more money than they have in their household. they want their government to have some common sense. businesses understand the need to balance a check book. our country, just like our families, can't continue to spend more than it makes. even my 9-year-old son realizes that. recently he had the chance to come out with me to washington, d.c., and he wanted to spend some time as the spy museum. he did a lot of chores asheds
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the ranch to earn money but when he got there and walking through the gift shop he realized he didn't have enough money to buy everything he wanted. he saw a lot of things he wanted to take home with him but he didn't have the money so he to prioritize. he had to pick and choose and leave some things there because he simply could could -- couldn't afford that. was he disappointed? absolutely. he was heartbroke. but i tell you what, that taught him a life lesson that he will only learn from people who have common sense, who understand that you can't spend money you do not have and you have to prioritize and make choices. america is out of money. we know this and president obama knows this. and, yes, we do need fundamental tax reform. yes, we need to identify our priorities and, yes, we absolutely have to stop spending money we don't have. strong leadership, action, courage, along with responsible solutions are needed from all of us if we want to preserve the american dream for our kids and our grandkids. as a wife, mother and a republican woman, i support a balanced budget amendment,
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smaller government so my kids can grow up with liberties and freedoms and so that they don't have to worry about paying the bills that we're continuing to rack up in this country. it's time to change our ways and i certainly thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me. thank you. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much for your comments. and, you know, it's interesting, we all have our stories, our anecdotes about our household budgets and what we're dealing with. my son is 16 years old and he just received his driver's license just a couple months ago. but the deal with him is, ben, you can't get a car until you finish that eagle scout project. and you're going to have to be responsible to pay for the gas that goes in it. well, there's not a day that goes by here in washington that i don't receive a picture that he texts me of the newest truck that he's found or the newest jeep but there again he understands the deal, the deal is no vehicle until the eagle scout project is at least under
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way and i'm yielding on that. i'm negotiating with him. but that's the plan. and sometimes, as you said, we just can't have everything we want. in a perfect world we could, but we can't. because when taxpayer dollars are being spent it's not an endless flow of money coming into washington that's from some unknown source, it's taxpayer dollars that we're spending. we have to be good stewards of that and what better way to do that than to cut, cap and balance -- the cut, cap and balance plan we passed in the house just yesterday evening. it was so incredibly power tolve see those numbers up on the board. and -- powerful to see those numbers up on the board and to think that we could put a balanced budget amendment in place which is basically amending the constitution. this would be historical, a historic moment for us and we'll be part of it and president obama will be the president that puts that forward for future
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generations. and i just again am so proud of it and, you know, like i said, when you bring it home, we all have to deal with those budgets in our own households, washington should be doing the same. i'd like to yield now to vice chair, one of another member of leadership and just a voice of understanding, reason and leadership for the g.o.p. women, vice chair of our g.o.p. conference, mrs. mcmorris rodgers, thank you so much for coming to offer your comments. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: thank you very much. i'm proud to be here this evening to join the republican women and i want to especially thank you, as our leader from north carolina, i'm proud that you're one of the dynamic republican women, freshmen, that joined the house this year. and as i think about what the solution is that faces america, i believe republican women are a big part of that solution.
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and we see that, you know, for all the people in america that are frustrated with leaders in congress and go behind closed doors and strike a deal without putting it to the people, republican women, especially women are seen as being honest, as trustworthy, as problem solvers and republican women are also seen as being fiscally responsible and the ones that i believe are a big part of the solution. so i am proud to join you all this evening. in so many ways we are at a cross roads here as a country. and we've had record unemployment now, over 9% for a record amount of time. we have also reached a record in our spending and as i think most people in the country are aware, the president has asked congress to raise this debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion to get us through november of 2012.
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that's his request. and the republicans believe that it is very important that as we look at our fiscal situation that we are not just continuing down the current path of raising the debt ceiling, of adding to the credit cards, but that we are changing course, we are cutting up those credit cards and i think it's important for people to realize what that means for them and their families. this request would be $20,000 for every american family. $20,000 in additional debt for every american family across this country. and it is very important before we vote to raise that debt, add that debt to our families moving forward that we change course. and the real question in my mind is whether or not the president recognizes that we cannot continue down this path. when you think about our future economic opportunities, national
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security interests, it is very important that we change paths. and that's why i am proud of the legislation that passed the house last night. with an overwhelming majority. we actually got some democrat votes. it's a bipartisan bill that passed the house with 234 votes. and now it's over in the senate and we already know that 37 senators have signed on to support this bill. and we want to make sure that america realizes that there is a plan on paper that has passed the house and does have support in the senate and we want to continue to build on that support. cut, cap and balance is a reasonable, it's a credible plan to addressing where we find ourselves as a country. yes, it includes cuts in current year spending, it includes caps as we move forward so that we're going to bring down how much we're spending and it includes a balanced budget amendment. i'm, like so many, a strong supporter of the balanced budget
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amendment. when i was first running for congress in 2004 i talked a lot about the balanced budget amendment. what i didn't appreciate was to what degree the federal government spends money, borrows money and prints money with no limits. i thought, well, there must be some limits. there are no limits on the federal government's ability to borrow, to spend and print money. and the balanced budget amendment was one that even thomas jefferson, after they finished writing the constitution, said, if i could make one change it would be to limit the federal government's ability to borrow money. it's been a debate through the ages, it is long overdue and this is a time -- it's about america's future and i am proud to stand here tonight in support of cut, cap and balance and the balanced budget amendment and getting our fiscal house in order for our economy today and for keeping the american dream alive for many years to come. and i thank you. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. i'd like to yield now to the
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gentlelady from west virginia, ms. moore capito. mrs. capito: thank you. i'd like to thank my colleagues here today for the opportunity to talk about something that is extremely important to every woman in america, every person in america. it's really not a man or a woman thing or a child or a grandparent thing, it's all of us. and so i look at things a lot of times, i think like a lot of people. i kind of try to put my own life filter over what's going on here. and i have elderly parents who are having some bumpy roads with their health and i just today for the very first time had my only and most beautiful granddaughter with me today on the house floor. and i realized, she has $45,000 worth of national debt on her head and then i think about my
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parents trying to manage their health care, manage their finances in their senior years, have they prepared enough, did they make the right choices? and i think about all of that in between generation of which i am and i know that we want to make the right choices for ourselves, too so, that when our children are taking care of us, those decisions can be easier for them and we can be well prepared. and quite honestly, with a $14 trillion debt, i don't think we're going to be prepared. what kind of handcuffs are we putting on our future generations? i think about -- i think about times in my life when maybe i've gone up to the limit on my credit card or maybe things haven't been as a -- particularly when we were younger, trying to buy a house for the first time, trying to figure out how we're going to manage the dollars when we were first getting started, and when we realized that maybe we were
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going a little over the limit or spending too much, was the first thing we thought about, let's get a loan, let's ask our parents for more money? no, the first thing you think about is how are we going to cut back here? how are we going to save, how are we going to live within our means? because that's the reasonable and rational way, that's the way our parents did it and that's the way we've tried to do it. but that's not the way things go on here in washington. instead of trying to -- a lot of people say, why is it just only about cutting and -- cutting spending? because if we don't prove and show that we can cut spending at the beginning, before we talk about anything else, we're never going to do it. and i think those are the hard decisions, those are the kitchen table decisions, all great change in america begins at the dinner table, that's a ronald reagan quote. that's absolutely true. and so i think that's why i think the cut, cap and balance bill that we passed yesterday
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makes so much sense to a lot of american women around the kitchen table, because that's what they're doing. and so i think, you know, when you think about in terms of the balanced budget, when i listened to the debate yesterday, i think about my home state of west virginia. we have a balanced budget. we have hundreds of million dollars in surplus right now. because we are not permitted by law to spend more than we bring in. . we had a good year, but i think some of it is the smart budgeting, the tough decisions we made to make sure at the end of the year, we're not dipping into the rainy day fund, or find ourselves say, the only way to save ourselveses is to raise somebody's taxes, we have a budget for the first time in, i think, three years in the house an everybody around the
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kitchen table makes a budget if they don't make it every year, certainly when they're in trouble, you make a budget. really simple things like decide not to go out to eat, stop your magazine subscriptions, the easy things first, then the really hard decisions. that's where we are right now, the hard decisions. i think that, you know, as a daughter, as a mother of a daughter, and a mother of now a granddaughter, i think women make a lot of these decisions. i see the generations changing. i see the decisions maybe that my mom made were not as involved as the ones i'm making and i certainly can see that my own daughter, independent, on her own, is going to be so much more empowered financially to make the decisions. let's not leave her and the next generation holding a big i.o.u. on their back. let's take the opportunity, this is another question i get, why -- we've raised the debt
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ceiling how many times in the past? numerous times in the past. i think they were quoting 17 times under ronald reagan or something like that, if i recall correctly. that is correct. we have raised the debt ceiling. i've voted to raise it before. but this is different. we need to seize this opportunity because if we don't seize the opportunity to clamp down on spending now when the american people realize what an issue, what a problem and what a generational burden we're passing on, we have to show the american people. everything is about timing, political lives are about timing, you could have the greatest candidate in the world and if it's not the right time, they can't make. -- can't make it. this is the time. this is time for us to grab the reins and say to the senate and
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the president and the american people, we're ready, you're ready, let's join together and do this. i look forward to hopefully cut, cap -- that's hard to say sometimes. it's a tongue twister. cut, cap, and balance makes it through the senate. but at least if it doesn't make it in the form we passed today, the concepts within it, cutting, capping, and balancing our budget are everyday events in people's lives. they need to do it here. i look forward to doing it with my fellow women republicans we're talking with today. also every man, woman and child in this country because it's all about every american and we don't want to see an overburden on one, either the older generation, the younger generation or the generations to come. thank you for having us. i look forward to working together. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. now i'd like to yield to one of
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my fellow freshman colleagues who i have gotten to be very good friends with, she is an incredible individual, she is a great person to be serving with, i truly appreciate all of her input, thoughtful comments, we discuss issues every day here in congress and i yield to my good friend, sandy adams from florida. mrs. adams: thank you. i join the -- my fellow republican women today to come and talk to you about what we passed yesterday, cut, cap, and balance. i want to reach out to the american people and tell them why. august 2 is quickly approaching. what we have heard from our president is first the biden talks, then the grand bargain, then it was mcconnell-lee deal, then it was gange of six.
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again, all of you -- all of these are proposals, all of these are ideas, nothing on paper, nothing to be scored by the congressional budget office. not one thing put down in writing so that the american people and quite frankly congress knows what is truly in these plans. so now just yesterday, the house republicans passed cut, cap, and balance. cut, cap, and balance with bipartisan support. it's the only legislation that has been introduced to congress that actually addresses the debt, the deficit, and the ability, the ability to get our budget back in order. balancing our budget. the only one scored by the congressional budget office. i supported that legislation and i will continue to support it because it is the only legislation that has been
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brought forth to handle our debt, deficit, and our budget. not any of the other plans that have been floated out there, spoken about, talked about, nothing in writing. as i heard one of my colleagues say earlier, the congressional budget office said, we can't score a speech. and the american people don't really know what's in that legislation unless you write it down and let them take a look at it. that is so important to the american people. they want to know what we are doing. that's why it was so important that we had cut, cap, and balance out there. the american people had a chance to read it, review it. they've seen what we have done. and i'm hearing from the people in my district that they're happy. they're happy that we have passed a responsible bill. we're facing $14.3 trillion in debt. it's equal to about 95% of our
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entire economy. $3.7 trillion of that was accrued under president obama's watch. to put that in perspective, it took the united states from 1776 to 1992 to accrue that same amount of debt. that we have accrued in about two and a half years. we are mortgaging our children's future. we are borrowing 40 cents on the dollar. much of it from the chinese, and we are sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. this has got to stop. if we don't listen to the american people, shame on us. we have heard them loud and clear. we know they want us to get our fiscal house in order because every day, the american people are making their hard decisions on what they're going to buy, whether it's gas, whether it's prescription drugs, whether it's food, because everything
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is going up. and the jobs are going away. we have a high unemployment rate. we have a different -- we have different credit rating places telling us, get your fiscal house in order or we are going to downgrade you. if that happens, the american people are the ones that suffer with us. this affects each and every one of us. that is why i am proud to have supported cup, cap and balance. that is why we stand here today talking with you, the american people, letting you know we heard you. i'm alarmed -- i'm ringing the alarm. my colleagues in the house are ringing the alarms but the senate democrats and this president don't seem to be listening. we have a problem. and it is not a tax problem. it is a spending problem here
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in washington. we need to get that spending under control. since 1917, i think that's when they first passed this debt ceiling legislation, and i think, personally, they passed it with hopes that congress would never spend more than they took in. that's my opinion. i wasn't here back then. but i will tell you that year after year congress has voted to ignore, to move on, continue the spending without addressing the true drivers of our debt. we have to address those drivers. and if congress isn't willing, if the president isn't willing, the american people are willing. they're saying, send us the balanced budget amendment. let us show you where we are on this. 49 states have a balanced budget requirement.
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they are able to live within their means. we should do no less. the american people live within their means. states live within their means. and congress and the federal government should do no less. years of kicking the can down the road have come to an end. reckless spending needs to stop. the senate's repeated failure not to pass a budget and do their jobs has led us to this economic crossroads and needs to stop. i ask my colleagues in the senate, take up this bill, pass this bill, listen to the american people. they want the opportunity to vote on a balanced budget amendment. let them. what are you afraid of. let the american people's voices be heard. let them vote. americans deserve better and we have proven that here in the house. i hope that our senate colleagues are listening. i hope our president is
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listening. august 2 is quickly approaching. you do not have a scoreable plan written down and we need to make sure that we protect our american heritage for our future generations. with that, i yield back. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. the speaker pro tempore: would the gentlelady yield? the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the 39 of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: mr. secretary. the secretary: i'm directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. mrs. ellmers: thank you. i now yield to the gentlelady from ohio, mrs. schmidt for three minutes. mrs. schmidt: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you to my good friend mrs. ellmers from north
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carolina for hosting this hour this evening. this is about america's future and about america doing what each and every woman, each and every man, each and every family has to do each and every week at their table. and that is balance the budget and pay the bills. you know, the greatest president, they say, in this century or the last century was ronald reagan and in his fare well speech he said, all great change in america begins at the dinner table. and it does. it's where we educate our children, where we feed our children, where we stake out the ideas of how we want our future to go, where we plan parties, where we plan events and where we discuss grandma's departure. it is the center of our home. it is that that i want to focus on what i think needs to be said tonight.
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we have to balance our budget in america. in this house, in this chamber, at this kitchen table. we all have seen what it is to take a checkbook, take the bills, and make them come together. that's what we need to do and that's what i believe a balanced budget amendment will force this congress and future congresses to do, balance our checkbook. you know, just like mothers and grandmothers across this country, i have a major stake in the future of our nation. and that is not just my daughter and her wonderful husband, but my my alan massengale -- my michael and my anthony, my wonderful grandchildren. any father was the epitome of the american dream he came from nothing but worked hard and started a business and paid the bills for that business at their little small kitchen table he grew that and gave us the opportunity to make sure that what we wanted to
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accomplish in the united states was available to us. that's what i did for my daughter. when she started her little business, you know where she started it? at the kitchen table in the house she grew up in. she's got a thriving little business. but she's got two little children and we want that american dream for them. we've got to get our fiscal house in order. we cannot keep creating the debts and deficits that we are creating in this country. a balanced budget amendment would force us to do the right thing for our country just as moms and dads across the nation have to do all the time at their kitchen table. that's live within our means. i urge the senate to take up the balanced budget amendment. i urge this chamber to adopt it. i urge the senate to adopt it and to make it a reality. i yield back. thank you so much -- mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. i now yield to my other -- we have many, don't we, good
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friends? my good friend from missouri, mrs. hartzler, one of the great freshmen i'm serving with. mrs. hartzler: thank you, renee. we appreciate you hosting this. i'm glad to lend my support to the balanced budget amendment. it goes back to my childhood and i've shared this before but i wanted to share this again. this is what i grew up with and i believe it's what most americans grew up with. i grew up on a farm and it was just my mom and my dad and my sister and i. every january, my mom would get out all these ledger papers and lay them out on the kitchen table, that was before the days of computers and each page represented a month and she and my dad would spend days, literally, charting out the cash flow for our farm for the rest of the year and try to estimate how much the yield was going to be on the corn and the soybeans and they had to guess how much the price was going to be and they researched the costs of the seed and the other
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inputs and the fuel and they charted that all out and then our mortgage payments and they were able to, through working in pencil and erasing and reworking it figure out how they were going to make everything work, how they were going to be able to live within their means and it wasn't always easy but as the year went on and conditions changed, mother would get that eeraser out and readjust that cash from the to make sure we stayed in balance, make sure we had everything that we need. . and that's just common sense. that's families balancing their budget. i carry on that tradition, i do it, and people all over the missouri's fourth district do it. families i talk to, they say every year, we balance our budget. how come washington doesn't? every small business i visit with says, we balance our budget, how come washington doesn't? every farmer and rancher i visit with says, we balance our budget, how come washington
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doesn't? we have got to start taking the common sense from the people and apply it here in washington. you know, even the states, they certainly are one up on us here. 49 out of 50 of the states have a balanced budget amendment. they live within their means. yet washington thinks they don't need it. well, i think they do. with a $14.3 trillion debt that we have now, it is evident that people here cannot live within their means and they need to have the constraints of the budget. so we passed it here in the house. it was the right thing to do, it's supported by the american people. now the senate and the president need to get onboard. why the president would oppose our cut, cap and balance plan i have no idea. i want the president to share with me and with all of us and american people why he does not support balancing a budget. we do it at home, we need to do it in washington and we need to do it now. thank you. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. and i yield, this will be our --
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you will be finishing this evening's comments, a good friend to all of us as freshmen, a mentor to us and i thank you for coming this evening as well. it means very much that you contribute to this, ms. granger from texas. thank you. ms. granger: thank you very much. thank you, mr. speaker. mrs. ellmers: for three minutes. ms. granger: i want to talk a little bit about my experience balancing budgets because i had to manage many difficult kinds of budgets and some all at the same time. as a business owner, for 23 years, i had to balance my insurance company's budget. as the mayor of fort worth i had to balance the city's budget and as the mother of three i had to balance the household budget. what is the same about every budget i've balanced is that there was never any choice. there were very serious consequences for not being fiscally responsible, whether it was in my business, at city hall or at home.
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most americans had the same experience i had. we all sit around the kitchen table and figure out how to make ends meet and then we ask, why can't washington do the same thing? families and businesses have to balance their budgets every single day. it's only right that the federal government, with $14.3 trillion in debt, should finally have to do what all americans already do. but when washington is asked to balance a budget for the american people this seems to be too tall an order. washington could learn a thing or two from the women in congress. $10.-- 10.6 million businesses owned in the united states are owned by women. and women now make up the majority of the work force. we're the leaders of fortune 500 companies, but as we've taken even greater responsibility we haven't given anything up.
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we're balancing budgets at our business during the day and when we get home we're taking care of our family's finances and many of us care for our aging parents and their budgets, too. we know what it means to make ends meet and we've lived up to that responsibility in every part of our lives. it's now time for washington to do the same. i thank you and i return the balance of my time. mrs. ellmers: thank you so much. and with that, you know, my good friend was pointing out the need to be following our finances and, you know, as more and more women are becoming business owners and they are the bread winners, as you can see from this chart here once again figuring out the bills, balancing the budget, taking care of our family members, their health care needs, so important and in order for us to be good stewards of taxpayer
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dollars here in washington, it's time for a balanced budget amendment. i'm very proud of what our house has done in a bipartisan effort yesterday and i'm hoping that the senate and the president will also be part of that very significant historic move so that we can get this country back on sound financial ground. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
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mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to be joined by my colleagues today and we were going to talk about the financial situation here in the united states and the meaning of the various ideas and proposals that have been put forward. i want to compliment my colleagues on the republican side for their tenacity in putting out their sound bites but i think it's very, very important for the american people to understand in detail exactly what is being proposed here. yesterday we did have what was called the cut, cap and balance proposal. you might also call it the cut, slash and burn proposal because once you get past the sound bites and get into the details of what is actually -- what has actually been proposed, you got to stand back and go, whoa, wait a minute, is that really what a balanced budget amendment is all about?
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we're going to go into that in a few moments to really understand exactly what this balanced budget amendment is and the effect that it will have on americans, particularly on women in america. but before we go there we need to step back a bit and understand how is that we got into this situation -- how is it that we got into this situation with this deficit? $14 trillion. how did we get here? it's really important to understand that before you go off and try to solve the problem. you need to know what is the situation, what is the circumstance. well this little chart here lays out where the deficit came from. now, understand that at the end of the clinton administration in 2001, january, 2001, the united states government was running a surplus, a $300 billion-plus surplus, they'd run that for the previous two years. so we had a surplus and we were on the path during the decade,
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2001, 2010, to literally pay off the entire american debt. it would be paid off. now, whether that's a good idea or not, you can debate that. but that's what we were on. so the trajectory was, had we maintained the same policies, the same growth in our economy, we would have paid off the total debt. however, something happened. now what happened? what happened was change in policies and two wars. the iraq, the afghanistan war, following -- following the 9/11 event in 2001 and then the iraq war in 2003. neither war paid for, for the first time in american history neither war was paid for. all borrowed money. first time ever in america's history. now, another thing happened along the way and that is in 2001 the first george w. bush tax cut followed in 2003 by the
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second george w. bush tax cut. and here's what they meant. take a careful look at this. this is where the deficit started. we start here with the bush era tax cuts and over the years so that in 2019, 20 years, we have this extraordinary growth in the deficit caused by those tax cuts. of course it assumes that tax cuts will continue on into 2019. the red area here are the wars, again, not paid for. so the iraq war and the afghanistan war. the other thing is this downturn in the economy. the downturn in the economy occurred in 2008. how did it happen, why did we have that crash of the american economy? we had it because the federal government stepped back from regulating the financial institutions, allowing them to
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run wild, assuming that they would be smart enough to regulate themselves. that didn't happen. they were smart enough to be extraordinarily greedy. wall street went on a greed binge and the result was the collapse of the financial industry. needless to say there were other players in this game and many americans, hundreds of thousands of americans joined in the game and took out mortgages, bought house that there was no way they could possibly afford. the financial industry, the mortgage industry and wall street bankers and we wound up with the great collapse of 2008. to deal with that the bailout of wall street occurred, most of that has now been paid back. it worked. did it work for the benefit of americans? well, it stabilized the financial institutions and it certainly worked for the benefit of wall street. that program occurred in the final months of the george w.
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bush administration. unfortunately the american economy has not recovered despite the spending of some $700 billion in the stimulus program. it actually worked. it didn't work enough to get the economy moving forward. so we wound up with this huge deficit. going forward the deficit remains in place because the wars continue, $178 billion a year spent on the war in afghanistan and iraq. also continuing are the george w. bush tax cuts. there is where the deficit's coming from. and thirdly the economy is not recovered. -- has not recovered. that's where the deficit is. now, what do you do about that? do you put in place a constitutional amendment that has some really interesting and
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when the american public understands what is in that amendment, it's not just balanced budget, there are real things in that amendment and that amendment, if ever put in place, will have extraordinary consequences for america. in my view none of them positive. sound bite is great. balance the budget. force the government to balance the budget. just like we do at home. hello, america, do you really balance your budget every month, every year? i don't think so. we take out a mortgage to buy a house. that's borrowing money, folks. that's not balancing your daily budget. that's borrowing money and now you've got to pay the mortgage. pay the interest. and when you lose your job or when you are laid off or when you're cut back in hours, what do you do?
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you do your best to cut expenses and then you probably are going to borrow more money, maybe the home equity loan, maybe the credit card to get by. we all do that. all of us. it's not so easy to at the end of every year balance the budget. 49 states, yes they have a balance the budget amendment. i'm from california, democrat, jerry brown, facing a balanced budget amendment. guess what? borrows money. doesn't balance the budget. oh, and his predecessor, arnold schwarzenegger, republican, conservative, said he was going to blow up boxes and balance the budget. happened twice in the seven years that he was governor that he was able to balance the budget. why did this happen? why did it happen? america asked the question, what is in the balanced budget amendment? amendment? i'll tell you what's in it.

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